Pawar defends Ajit, says canít blame him
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Defending his nephew and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, accused of corruption in irrigation projects in Maharashtra, Union minister Sharad Pawar Saturday said ministers can't be held responsible for substandard work.
"We can't rule out the possibility of substandard work in some projects. But who is responsible for looking after quality? It's not the job of a chief minister or a minister. There are thousands of projects throughout the country sanctioned by me that are under progress. Is it possible for me to go and check quality of each and every project? If there has been a substandard work then the officials should conduct a probe and penalise the erring contractor or engineer," he said at a convention of NCP workers.
"The current trend of blaming public representatives for each and every wrong, however small it may be, is not good for society. Some people are deliberately trying to malign public representatives by slapping baseless allegations against them," he said.
Praising Ajit Pawar, he said, "When the issue of irregularities in the irrigation project was raised, Ajit promptly resigned and asked them to go ahead with the probe."
He rubbished allegations by former police officer Y P Singh that the Pawar family had leased about 348 acres of government land to Lavasa Corporation in violations of the norms. Pawar emphasised that the Lavasa project had actually benefited the region.
Want Tariq Anwar in Cabinet: Pawar
Sharad Pawar said he has recommended Tariq Anwar for place in the Cabinet. "In response to the PM's suggestion to submit a name for the proposed reshuffle, I recommended Tariq Anwar," he said. The NCP spokesman is likely to replace MoS Agatha Sangma, whose father P A Sangma defied Pawar and quit the NCP to contest the presidential election.
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